20 Nov 2018

Construction firm in liquidation

8:50 am on 20 November 2018

Another construction company has gone under, owing millions of dollars and leaving a handful of private and public sector projects in the lurch.

Builder inspector checking a construction site works.

Accent On Group has gone into receivership. Photo: 123rf

All divisions of the Accent On Group are in receivership, while the construction division is also in liquidation.

Liquidators from Staples Rodway, Tony Maginness and Jared Booth were appointed by the High Court this month, at the request of the real estate firm Ray White Damerell Group over unpaid debt.

Mr Booth said the construction company owed more than $4.5 million to creditors, including $1.8m to Inland Revenue.

Ray White director Gower Buchanan said it was the smallest creditor "by a country mile," but would not reveal the size of its claim, calling the litigation a private matter.

The receiver of the entire Accent On group, Damien Grant of Waterstone Insolvency, who was appointed earlier this month, said the company's business model was not viable and it had no money to pay any creditors.

He said the company's business model did not rely on subcontractors and a number of its projects, including builds for the state sector, could not get off the ground.

Almost all of the company's 45 staff have been let go.

Mr Grant said only parts of the scaffolding division were attractive enough to sell, while the company's civil and electrical divisions were being wound up.

"It was a really clever and good idea, but unfortunately there was not enough work.

"There's also the problem of contracting for work in 2005 and then trying to complete it at 2018 prices," Mr Grant said.

"The projects that it had were either unprofitable to complete or too early in their life cycle to warrant contemplating managing them through."

Mr Grant said one project remained unfinished, but would not provide any details citing a confidentiality agreement.

"We looked pretty hard to see whether we could complete that one, or see whether we could assign the contract, but for a number of reasons it was simply uneconomical."

Mr Grant did not reveal what public sector agencies or organisations would be affected by Accent On's receivership and liquidation.

The liquidators were reviewing Mr Grant's appointment and would release their first report next month.

Accent On's website said it built schools, residential care facilities and residential complexes in Auckland.